Monday, May 18, 2009

I still don't understand life and probably never will

I spent a good part of my weekend feeling sorry for myself. About 1:30 Saturday afternoon, we had received a phone call from my brother Allen. He told Kathy that he couldn't bear the pain he was going through and was being taken via ambulance to the Hospice Center on E 185th St., in Cleveland. In the past 12+ years, I have heard the "H" word applied to a member of my family all too much. I have known for a few months now that Allen had cancer. Up to about a month ago, we hadn't been in the same place together in about 10 years. As a matter of fact, the photo above is me with all my siblings at Christmas 1979. It was very rare that the 5 of us could get together at any time.

On March 8, 1997 my half sister, Bev, had passed away in the same facility where Allen is now. She had challenges from the day she was born when the doctor had scarred her with the forceps. Neurofibromatosis caused unsightly growths and one eye to be blind. She almost choked to death giving birth. And when she passed away at age 45, one of her two children was 11 years old. Kathy and I took custody of him and he lived with us until he graduated from high school.

My father passed away from heart failure on September 13, 2000. My mom died from COPD on April 4, 2004, and my brother Richard passed away March 4, last year. My youngest sister, Deirdre, who has some challenges, lives with us.

Sometimes I have to wonder why? Why have I lost most of my immediate family and am only 53. It's been said that the Lord doesn't put more on you than you can handle. I don't know...

24 comments:

Amias said...

Lost, my beloved friend, is a part of life. It's been that way since man have been able to measure life by time. I believe that death is not meant to scar us, or cause us to be unhappy --- death is the only cure I know to long term suffering. I don't view it as others do, I view it as a blessing.

You have a good heart, and you are blessed to at least be around your family as they pass on --- indeed, you seem to be blessed with long life. Always, I has come to discover, every blessing have two sides and a middle, just like a coin. Toss it up and one get the head or the tail of a blessing, but it's what's in between that counts. You are, for lack of a better word, the stuff in between that keeps your family together .. and I see that as unconditional love.

Take care, and yes I dare say this ... God bless.

Leesa said...

Wow, I did not realize you have had so many family members who have died at young ages. I will pray for Allen and your whole family.

Michelle said...

Cliff

first of all ((((BIG HUG)))

I'm mixed on the God giving you only what you can cope with thing myself. On good days I believe it, on bad days... I still know it's true, but I resent it. This weekend I was feeling pretty worn out and resentful myself. Long story and not at all like yours - not at all as heart-wrenching as yours.

Life can erode you to the dust of bones some days. Wish I could think of something to make it better, but losing people you love, or seeing them suffer,can never be made better with mere words.

Love and prayers sent

Karen said...

Cliff, I think Amias put it beautifully. Life can tend to bring you to your knees in the blink of an eye and then you wonder how in the world you'll ever get back up again. But you do, somehow, some way, you just do and it's after you've gotten back up that you realize how much strength you had inside you to do it. We never want to see our loved ones suffer, but that doesn't make dealing with the anguish any easier. You and your whole family will be in my thoughts and I send you good, good, good, wishes today and everyday. Take Care!

Busy Bee Suz said...

One of the big mysteries of life...does he KNOW you can handle this? Not sure.
I am sending good thoughts and prayers your way...I hope Allan is not in pain anymore.
I lost quite a few people while in my 20's, and I have a very small family.

Margaret said...

We come into this world with a chance to make a difference to others. I think that you have taken that challenge, and have had an impact on many people. Loss is part of life, I suppose. Maybe it's a motivating factor in your desire to help others.

Happy Woman said...

Loss is so hard for us. I, too, have lost too many. The ones that leave here are the blessed ones...we are left to miss them. I am praying for you and yours, dear brother.

Mike Golch said...

Cliff,{{{{{BIG TIME HUG}}}}
loss unfortunaly is a part of life that sucks.
I lost my Dad in 1984,he was 58.
I lost my Mom in 2003 she was she was 73.I'm greatful that I still have my 2 younger sisters,Sandy and our baby sis Linda.
Maybe what my Dad used to say may bring some confort.He said that God has given evey one a number and when he calls that number it is your turn to go home mo mater what the age.

Just Be Real said...

Cliff, I am so sorry for your struggles dear one. Loss is certainly hard!

(((Cliff))))

Anonymous Drifter said...

You've travelled a tough road. It's so very painful to lose a family member, you've lost many and that takes an enormous amount of strength.My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jessica said...

Cliff... It was heartbreaking to read your post today. God put you in this family for a reason.... to be their rock. You have been there for all of them. You are amazing the way you have loved them and treasures will be waiting for you in heaven!

Sandee said...

I'm so sorry that this is weighing so heavily on you. It is indeed difficult to lose family members. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Mike of Rambling Stuff sent me over. :)

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

I'm stunned at all the loss you've experienced and pray for healing and strength for you.

Shellmo said...

I'm sorry to hear about your brother Allen. So hard to lose family members at young ages - and still harder later to lose them at older ages too (I'm still grieving over my 89 yr old grandpa.) Your family is in my prayers.

Shellmo said...

I'm sorry to hear about your brother Allen. So hard to lose family members at young ages - and still harder later to lose them at older ages too (I'm still grieving over my 89 yr old grandpa.) Your family is in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Cliff

I lost my mother when I was 11 and never knew my father. While I admit to having holes in my heart, I've never felt they weren't with me.

YOU were put here for a reason and like all of us, you will go when it is your time. In the meantime please don't dwell on loss. Loss is a part of life.

Your times together are always in your memory. Visit them when you need to, but not at the cost of your own life and needs.

You have people around you who care as deeply for you as you do for the people you've lost. Be sure to balance your time....

J. Moses(Tri-State Media Watch Editor) said...

Cliff my brother,

Believe me...this weekend, I was in that same spot. But, after taking some time this afternoon to refresh myself and refocus my energy, I feel better.

Loss is a part of life. Why it's all happened to you by age 53, I have no clue. God just needs His angels sometimes. (A lesson learned from Laura Chaney's death last week, right there.) He needed them all to watch over you and Kathy. It is true He never puts more on you than you can take. And you just have to ask Him and he'll help if you need it...and so will I and all of those who commented above me.

My prayers are going out this evening to you and your sweet wife, hopefully everything turns out right...in fact it will. Because the Bible does say..."All things work for good for those who love Him(Romans 8:28)".

Speedcat Hollydale said...

I guess I have always thought of Earth as a starting point, or a testing ground if you will, for what follows in heaven. This world is an unbelievable mix of joy and pain. It is hard to explain away pain and suffering, so I will not try to. I have been in your shoes and know that it "just hurts inside". What I am able to do is offer my hand in human fellowship, and send a hug to you across this internet line.
My life has been a very rocky road - yet somehow I was always brought back to faith through prayer. It is a reminder that we are also here as a journey to the Lord someday, where we all can be together ... forever.

God bless,
Eric from SCH

Jen said...

Cliff
I sure wish I had all the words to take this discomfort away from you, but I don't.
I only know that if we relied only on ourselves for this, we wouldn't need our Savior.
You are in my prayers for comfort and wisdom.

Ben said...

I was just reading the 23rd Psalm to some high school kids yesterday - somehow it seems appropriate here - that whole "valley of death" reference, but with some "blessed assurance" in there for you too...

Pat Jenkins said...

you have experienced way too much loss wixy!! i hope one day it can be made up to you!!

struke said...

Cliff...I hope and pray for you, your family, and Allen. I know, there are times where it doesn't seem like the Man upstairs has you but HE really does.

Syd said...

You've had a lot to endure with loss. I don't know what the plan is but I guess that you are still around for a reason, Cliff. I hope that continues.

Ms Hen said...

hugs about your losses.. I'm sorry your brother is not well and the pain he is in ((hugs))